What are the Types of Urban Settlements?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The types of urban settlements include cities, towns, metropolitan cities, mega-metropolis, conurbations, and million cities. Based on their purposes, cities can be classified as administrative, industrial, transport, commercial, mining, cantonment, educational, religious, tourist, etc. A town or city is an example of an urban agglomeration, and an urban settlement is where displaced people move to live there.

Types of Urban Settlements

Urban areas are classified as cities based on their size, services offered, and functions performed:

  • Town: There isn’t much to separate a city from a village. The key element is access to resources. In towns, the construction and infrastructure are slightly better. Compared to villages, basic amenities are offered more often in towns.
  • Cities: Cities are quite large and have more people than towns. They serve bigger economic purposes. There are more developed systems for transportation, quality of life, education, etc.
  • Convergence: The term “metropolis” refers to extensive merged urban settlements. Initially, these towns or cities were divided. Cities such as Tokyo and Greater London are examples of conventions.
  • Megalopolis: Means “great city”. A megalopolis is a very dense cluster of many cities. Another name is Hyper Metropolitan. A classic example is an urban area that stretches from Boston in the north to Washington in the south of the United States.
  • Million City: A city is said to be a million city when its population exceeds one million. There are now one million cities worldwide, which is a record number. London became the first city with one million inhabitants in 1800, followed by Paris in 1850, New York in 1860, and more than 80 such cities by 1950.

Urban Settlement

A master plan typically separates cities or towns into areas governed by standards based on particular industries such as housing, sanitation, housing, and the environment. A variety of non-agricultural, economic, and administrative activities are carried out by urban communities, which are often compact and large in size.

Urban areas have a higher standard of living. The scope of facilities increases with the size of urban settlements. As a result, these metropolitan areas have a wider impact. Urban areas have more potential for development than rural areas. Lastly, urbanization is the process of converting a rural area into an urban area.

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